questionshow do you pronounce 'missouri'?

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I lived in SW Missouri for the longest time. We pronounced it Misery.

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I'm from/in central Indiana. Pretty much everyone I know pronounces it with the "ee" ending. I have heard the latter pronunciation occasionally, though. Maybe on television?

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I am from the south and I say "Missour-ee"

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Missour-ee.

Kinda like learning the difference between Albany, New York (ALL-buh-nee) and Albany, Georgia (ALL-benny). Subtle, but different.

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I pronounce it the correct way, which is to say -ee.

As for location, I've lived many places, including Kansas City Missouri.

To bypass anyone who wants to say "both ways are correct, hippies and hugs and rainbows and such"...look up where the name originally came from. You can pronounce it any way you like, that's the great think about this country. But the fact is one way is correct and the other is not. (Cue clip of Data and Doctor Pulaski) Oh, and while I'm at it, it isn't pronounced Ill-uh-noise, either.

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These results are shocking.

To borrow a Southern phrase, perhaps the fellows I heard say "Missour-uh" were puttin' on airs?

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I currently live in Kansas City, MO but have lived in several different cities in Missouri. I have always pronounced it "Missour-ee". I have heard it pronounced "Missour-uh", but I'm not a huge fan of that pronunciation but I would not say anything to the person.

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I grew up in Washington Missouri which the locals sometimes called "Warsh-ington Missour-uh"

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Missouri is a state? I thought it was an alternate spelling for Misery. (Just kidding, folks)

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Actually, the great state of Missouri's path to statehood included a major stepping stone in this country's path to the Civil War with the Missouri Compromise. For some insane reason, the politicians of the day thought that a country founded on the ideas of freedom and human dignity could accommodate slavery. It couldn't, thank goodness, though we paid a huge price for the attempt. I'll leave it to the reader to recognize we have other issues today that rock the founding principles as well. (Now I'll be accused of trolling, but so be it.)

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Born and raised in the Kansas City area of Missouri. Always pronounced it w/the double e. Still do. An uninteresting aside: Did learn to lose my Midwestern 'twang' when I moved to Denver. My brother still lives in MO...and 'twangs.'

Another aside: What in the world is ARKANSAS? Kansas is pronounced as you might expect. But...Ark-can-saw? Wouldn't Ar-kansas make sense.? Never understood; still don't. <---I'm not sure I am doing good on the fake phonetics there. Hope you get the gist.

Edit: A note to those who think Missouri should be named Misery. Cannot speak for the entire state, but will say that the Kansas City area is beautiful. Have been gone for too many years to think about. The Plaza...gorgeous w/many fountains, statues. Ward Parkway; beautiful homes. The Nelson Gallery is there - one of the finest in the nation. And the Ozarks. It is a lovely state. (Would never live there again---way too cold for me.)

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@gmwhit: Since you were wondering, here is the etymology. :)

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@gmwhit: Yes, the pronunciation of Arkansas is a little odd...unless you're from the Great Lakes area and know how to pronounce Mackinac, (yes, that's the correct spelling and, yes, the final c is pronounced like a w). Between the Native Americans and the French who settled and named most of the region you get places like Ishpeming (actually pronounced just like you'd think, but it still sounds funny), Ypsilanti (Y is pronounced like an I) and Sault Ste Marie (pronounced Sue Saint Marie). Given that, it's pretty easy to just go with Arkansas pronounced with a w sound at the end.

And, for the record, I pronounce Missouri with the long ee at the end.

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@robingraves: Thank you. Very informative. Still... Oh, never mind. English is confusing, inconsistent and never rational. Cute, maybe?? (Kidding, it is not cute.)

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@xarous: I have a question for you (and any other Missouri people) I know some people from Missouri pronounce Miami Missouri (the town) as mi-am-ma. If you do this, do you also pronounce the State Miami the same way?

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@caffeine_dude: Miami may be a state of mind; it is not a 'state. I pronounce it 'my-am-me.' That city is in the state where I reside...Florida. (I will not go on and on about the pronunciation of my state.)

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My mom is originally from Shelby county, MO. She usually pronounces it Missour-uh. I usually go with the ee pronunciation, although I have been known to use the uh pronunciation too. Sometimes we tease my mom and tell her that my dad married her and brought her out of misery.

@stile99: It may not be pronounced Illinoise, but I have heard it pronounced ELannoy.

@gt0163c: Well, if you're talking about the river, it just depends on which state you're in... In Kansas, the pronunciation is ArKANSAS River, but in Arkansas the same river is pronounced Arkansaw.

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@gt0163c: Oh, yes! I have heard of Mackinac. My late husband was from Michigan. Sigh. Apparently "w" does not exist as a "w." It's a "s" or a "c" - depending on where you are. Sort of. :-/

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@gmwhit: I knew it when I checked on it and hoped no one would notice as it was past 5 minutes. (should have know better)

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It's funny that Michigan is mentioned, that's where I was born. Then my family moved to Oklahoma when I was 10. I believe that's why I'm a bit of a pedant about the 'correct' pronunciation of certain words...born in an area flooded with Indian words, moved to an area flooded with Indian words. Spent some time in KCMO, another area flooded (though not to the same extent) with Indian words.

Also spent some time in Austin. Here's a hint for people visiting there: whatever landmark you are referring to, odds are you are pronouncing it incorrectly, that's why everyone is smiling and chuckling when you ask where things are. I think they do this on purpose as a way of identifying outsiders.

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@nortonsark: If you think of people different than you as not quite human, it's easy to believe it's okay to deny them the rights and privileges that you enjoy. We haven't gotten past that behavior, I doubt we ever will. Too many people measure their own value by devaluing others for genuine equality to ever become a reality.

@stile99: Ah, Austin. Living on the border I am accustomed to the correct pronunciation of Spanish words. So I have never quite mastered calling Guadalupe street "gwad-a-LUPE". I pronounce it "gwad-a-lupay", as the Spanish do. Makes the Austinites look at me funny, but then I look at them plenty funny myself.

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It's pronounced with a EE.
Family in the St. Louis and surrounding area pronounce it with a EE.
A guy a used to work with grew up in very southern Iowa and pronounced it the other way!

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I grew up in SE Missouri and went to college in St. Louis. I often say (mostly tongue-in-cheek) that I'm from Missour-uh but went to college in Missour-ee. The latter pronunciation is definitely the dominant one, but you'll hear Missour-uh a significant amount in the rural parts of the state (especially from older folks).

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I have a bunch of family in Missouri - and depending on what part of the state they live in, even they pronounce it differently. Pick one, have fun with it!

There's a town in Texas called Santa Ana (Surprising right) but they pronounce it Sant-ee An-ee. In Southern CA, the city of Santa Ana is pronounced... San-tah An-ah. smh.

Also, if you're not from NY and go to Albany - it's Ahl-buh-nee. If you pronounce it AL-bany, you'll get made fun of. They also don't call freeways freeways here. They're Highways or just the number; ie - take 88 to 90.

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If I had to take a guess, the proper pronunciation had been Missour-"ih" which lazily progressed to Missour-"uh". At least Missour-"ee" keeps a sound that an I makes.

Arkansas makes a little more sense, since it's a french spelling of a native american name. Kansas' pronunciation doesn't make sense by the same standard.

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Okay, next question . . . why the heck is University of Missouri called "Mizzou"???

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Missour-uh : Missouri : : Hawa-uh : Hawaii

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My wife's family is from the a tiny town north of Jefferson City and the whole clan pronounces it with the
-uh. When I asked umpteen years ago I was told it was the difference between northern and southern parts of the state. Don't know if that's right - just what I was told. I live in Bexar County and you wouldn't guess how it's pronounced if you didn't already know.

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@rayray8822: A sort-of combined pronunciation of the first syllables of both Missouri and University... Mizz U.

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I also should have added my mom pronounces her county of origin "Shubby" instead of Shelby. It's also "Shubby"ville, but Shelbina is pronounced correctly.

@sgrman05: Hey! I'm from mostly-really-southern Iowa, and I usually use the EE pronunciation. :P

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Being from WA, we're often told we all speak like newscasters, with no discernible accent at all :P Just curious, do you pronounce St. Louis as "Saint Lou - ee" or "Saint Lou - iss"? I've heard St. Lou - ee is the correct way, but have never visited myself!

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@dows: This is the only time you pronounce it St. Lou-ee:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meet_Me_in_St._Louis

Otherwise, it's not pronounced in a French manner at all. Sort of like how Los Angeles is pronounced as Loss Anjeliss by most, despite not being pronounced that way in the original Spanish.

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@omnichad: Thanks for the clarification! Now I can avoid sounding like an outsider if I ever visit :)

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I am in WA but am a transplant with a mild Boston accent. I have heard some of the natives put an "R" in the state pronunciation: "Warshington." They also pronounce the extensive ferry system as "Warshington State Fairies." Whenever I hear either it brings a grin to my face.

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It's Missour"ee" of course, there are no English words that end in "i" that are pronounced as an "uh". The "uh" pronunciation is lazy ignorant slang. I'm from the KC area and you do hear both from the natives sometimes. I dunno about southerners, I've been to Arkansas and hear both there as well.

Missouri is a beautiful state BTW, KC is called "Paris of the Plains" for a reason. ;)

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@stile99: Damn, a person with knowledge.
When in doubt, look it up. My daughter is a Linguist, Local accents notwithstanding, use the dictionary if you are interested in pronouncing it properly.
Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way.
Right way -
Missouri
central state in the United States of America

Name: Missouri
Phonetic Pronunciation: mih-ZUR-ee
Audio Pronunciation: (link)

Tags: US states Missouri disputed pronunciation

Notes: All authorities consulted prefer the pronunciation mih-ZUR-ee.

An alternate pronunciation preferred by some Missourians is mih-ZUR-uh.

Is it -ee or -uh? In June 1976 and again in 1989 the Midwest Motorist magazine conducted a poll of Missourians from all over the state for their preferred pronunciation of their state.

In 1976, 60 percent of Missourians chose -ee as preferred.

In 1989, 66 percent of Missourians chose -ee as preferred.

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way. Let's be literate...please.